Dis­abil­ity guide avail­able for Alpine re­sorts

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

MT Hotham has teamed up with Dis­abled Win­ter­Sport Aus­tralia (DWA) to cre­ate the 2015 Hotham Dis­abil­ity Visi­tors Guide – a first for Aus­tralian re­sorts.

Mt Hotham Re­sort Man­age­ment Board CEO Jon Hutchins said tra­di­tion­ally peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties head­ing to alpine re­sorts had been chal­leng­ing, in part due to lack of ac­cess to cen­tralised in­for­ma­tion about key ser­vices.

“We have hosted guests with dis­abil­i­ties for many years, and we knew that we could make it eas­ier for those guests by pro­vid­ing bet­ter in­for­ma­tion about what we have to of­fer,” he said.

“This sea­son, Mt Hotham has in­tro­duced ad­di­tional park­ing ar­range­ments for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties who re­quire close prox­im­ity ac­cess to the snow, which are marked on the Dis­abil­ity Visi­tors Guide.

“We are also now able to pro­vide im­proved wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble vil­lage trans­port via a pru­pose-built ve­hi­cle.”

DWA CEO Eric Bick­er­ton said the DWA is ex­cited about the re­la­tion­ship and joint vi­sion with Mt Hotham to en­hance both the op­por­tu­nity and visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ence for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity un­der­tak­ing in­de­pen­dent recre­ational snow sports ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We are very pleased that Hotham has em­braced the DWA re­sort ser­vices pro­gram, and I be­lieve it’s an evo­lu­tion- ary step for DWA,” he said.

“Through this pro­gram, to­gether with a grow­ing team of vol­un­teers from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, we can help en­able truly in­de­pen­dent ac­cess for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and their fam­i­lies and friends to this mag­nif­i­cent part of Vic­to­ria.”

The DWA is the Na­tional Sport­ing Ograni­sa­tion re­spon­si­ble for Adap­tive Win­ter Sport in Aus­tralia and be­gan op­er­a­tion in 1978 and has as­sisted thou­sands of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in win­ter sports at all lev­els.

Mt Hotham re­sort man­age­ment worked closely with DWA re­sort ser­vices co­or­di­na­tor for Hotham Phil Knight to cre­ate the Visi­tors Dis­abil­ity Guide, which in­volved con­sul­ta­tion to de­ter­mine the lo­ca­tion of ser­vices such as wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble public shel­ters, cafes and con­ve­niences.

The DWA has pro­vided $20,000 worth of new adap- tive snow sports equip­ment in­clud­ing three new sit skis at Mt Hotham and in ad­di­tion, Mt Hotham have ar­ranged for a guest wheel­chair to be lo­cated in the public shel­ter at the top of Heav­enly Val­ley to en­able guests with dis­abil­i­ties to more easily ac­cess fa­cil­i­ties out on the snow.

The Dis­abil­ity Visi­tors Guide is avail­able in printed form across the re­sort and from the Mt Hotham web­site www. mthotham.com.au.

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